Spokesman Pawneet Sethi expects the gathering to attract at least 1,000 people with Sikhs traveling from as far north as Vancouver, British Columbia, and as far south as Salem, Ore., to take part in the celebration.
At about 21,000 square feet, Guru Ramdass Gurdwara Sahib in Vancouver’s Landover-Sharmel neighborhood is the second largest gurdwara in Washington after Gurudwara Singh Sabha in Renton.
The congregation outgrew its facility at 3600 O St. in the Rose Village neighborhood. After purchasing the site of the shuttered Landover Athletic Club and nearly finishing remodeling the building, it burned in October 2012. Federal investigators determined the fire was not arson.
It took several more years and about $5 million to complete the new gurdwara. Sikh-owned Barrier Construction, based in Burien, was the general contractor.
“We are sincerely grateful to the Divine for pushing our community to the limits and for the strength and motivation to rise from the ashes of the fire in 2012 that destroyed our 95 percent ready to move in facility,” Sarbjeet Teja, the temple’s board chairman, said in a letter.
Sikhism is a fairly new and progressive monotheistic religion that denounces the rigid caste system. Sikhs are often misidentified as Muslims due to the turbans and head scarves they traditionally wear.